ICC WHMIS 2015 General
Awareness Training

ICC WHMIS 2015 General Awareness Training - Online Course

This WHMIS 2015 General Awareness course is designed for workers who handle hazardous chemicals. Since 2015, Canada adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), which ensures that workers in any part of the world are provided with the same information. The course provides an overview of the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) in Canada, and how they are related with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
WHMIS is managed by Health Canada and legally enforced throughout the country. The system focuses on hazard identification and material classification, by using labels and symbols for product containers. WHMIS also covers Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS or SDS) and personnel training. The system is also subject to provincial and territorial requirements, which means that requirements may vary by location.
After adopting the GHS in 2015, WHMIS classifies chemicals based on physical hazards like flammability, and health hazards like toxicity. In addition to identifying hazards, the system provides an indication of their severity and necessary precautions. One of the main advantages of the GHS is representing hazards with pictograms that are recognized worldwide. This helps prevent exposure to dangerous materials, especially in a company with international operations.

Overview of WHMIS 2015

Canada created WHMIS in 1988, and the first version included a local classification system for materials. After adopting the GHS in 2015, the WHMIS classification started using international labeling. That same year, the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) was amended and the Hazardous Product Regulations (HPR) were published. Canadian companies were given three years to upgrade from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015, and the process was completed in 2018.
WHMIS was upgraded to better inform workers about hazards, in order to prevent accidents and workplace fatalities. The system standardizes the information provided by material suppliers, while improving the level of detail. The nine hazards labeled in WHMIS 2015 are the following:

  • Flammability and other heat hazards (Flame pictogram)
  • Oxidizing agents (Flame and circle pictogram)
  • High pressure (Gas cylinder pictogram)
  • Contact damage to metals, skin or eyes (Corrosion pictogram)
  • Explosion risk from organic peroxides and self-reactive materials (Bomb pictogram)
  • Materials with high toxicity (Skull and crossbones pictogram)
  • Respiratory system irrigant and carcinogen substances (Health hazard pictogram)
  • Harmful substances with less severe effects (Exclamation mark pictogram)
  • Organisms or toxins that may cause diseases (Biohazard pictogram)

Although WHMIS 2015 is based on the GHS, the two systems are not equivalent. The main difference is that WHMIS classifies materials based on physical and health hazards, while the GHS also considers environmental hazards. The GHS uses 10 pictograms, while WHMIS only uses nine after removing the environmental hazards label. Canadian companies can label environmental hazards, but WHMIS does not require it by law.
WHMIS 2015 classifies organizations into distributors, importers, manufacturers and suppliers. Companies must be aware that some products are not covered by WHMIS, but they may be subject to other Canadian regulations.
Suppliers, employers and workers have different responsibilities under WHMIS 2015. Suppliers must classify their materials and label all hazards properly, while providing the corresponding Safety Data Sheets. Employers are responsible for providing all the necessary information to their personnel, while providing adequate training to deal with hazardous materials. Workers are responsible for following safety requirements, while identifying hazards and asking for any missing information.

Course Topics

The WHMIS 2015 General Awareness course content is divided into the following topics:

  • Course objectives
  • GHS and WHMIS 2015 regulations overview
  • Key terms and definitions
  • Responsibilities under WHMIS 2015
  • Target dates
  • Classification of hazards under WHMIS 2015
  • WHMIS 2015 hazard labeling: supplier labeling and workplace labeling
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS or SDS)

I-CAB Approved

This content developer is recognized by the International Competency Assessment Board (I-CAB) for its expertise in this subject matter and is listed as a competency development resource for I-CAB assessment participants.

Universally Compatible

This course was created using standards that will allow playback on most internet capable devices with standard web browsing capabilities including Apple’s iTouch, iPad, and iPhone, as well as most other smart phones and tablets including those with Android and Windows operating systems.


Average Completion Time

Completion times vary depending on the number of times the information is viewed prior to finishing the course. The average completion time is 60 minutes.


Knowledge Assessment

Testing is conducted in this online course to reinforce the information presented. You are provided three opportunities to achieve a passing mark of 80% or greater.


Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of this course, a certificate will be available to download and print. You can access your certificate through your online account.

ICC WHMIS 2015 General Awareness Training - Online Course